Friday, June 4, 2010

53rd IB Matapat Troopers welcome new head

The 53rd Infantry Battalion of the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division has a new commander in the person of Lt. Col. Emmanuel Magpayo.

Magpayo replaced Lt. Col. Erwin Alea and received a welcome treat during a reception ceremony held at the 53rd IB headquarters in Guipos, this province.

Alea, for his part, thanked the battalion troopers for the teamwork that made the battalion successful and praised their honorable service.

He then urged the new commander to focus on education with rebel returnees and continue visiting villagers to let the people understand the government programs in dealing with insurgency.

Such an effort helped turn the villages into a generally peaceful environment having a close working partnership with the people.

Alea also reported that throughout his administration, he directed and supervised 25 battalion-size operations and 3,439 small unit patrols against communist terrorist movements, secessionist groups and lawless elements in the area of operations.

As for Magpayo, he praised the Matapat troopers and said he is accepting the new position as the new commander, assuring “excellent leadership in my command.”

Magpayo likewise said that he will guide the battalion through a set period and guide the soldiers for future missions.

Meanwhile, 102 Brigade Commander Col. Rolando Tenefrancia praised Alea. “I would like to pay tribute to his exemplary performance and distinguished achievements for which, perhaps, we can never thank him enough.”

To Magpayo, he guaranteed his full support in the days ahead; adding Magpayo stands out to be the most qualified of the current officers of the 1st Infantry Division.

However, Tenefrancia said Magapayo’s achievement “will depend in no small measure to the full cooperation and support of every officer and the battalion troopers themselves” as he urged the troops “the battalion to unite behind Magpayo as their new leader for the success of the battalion’s mission.”